Miles Gloriosus

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Something for the weekend.  Bring Me My Bride, perhaps the funniest sequence, in what I regard as one of the funniest films of all time, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.  A superb recreation of a comedy that could have been written by the Roman playwright Plautus.  Wily slaves, braggart soldiers, dull-witted Senators, scheming wives, crazed soothsayers, they are all there, along with all the other stock characters that caused the Romans to roar with laughter.

My bride…
My bride!
My bride!
I’ve come to claim my bride,
Come tenderly to crush her against my side.
Let haste be made!
I cannot be delayed:
There are lands to conquer, cities to loot and peoples to degrade.

[SOLDIERS]
Look at those arms!
Look at that chest!
Look at them!

[MILES]
Not to mention the rest.
Even I am impressed!
My bride!
My bride!
Come, bring to me my bride.
My lust for her no longer can be denied.
Convey the news!
I have no time to lose:
There are towns to plunder, temples to burn and women to abuse.

[SOLDIERS]
Look at that foot!
Look at that heel!
Mark the magnificent muscles of steel!

[MILES]
I am my ideal!
I, Miles Gloriosus,
I, slaughterer of thousands,
I, oppressor of the meek,
Subduer of the weak,
Degrader of the Greek,
Destroyer of the Turk,
Must hurry back to work.

[MILES & ROMANS:]
I/he, Miles Gloriosus,

[SOLDIERS]
A man among men!

[MILES & ROMANS:]
I/he, paragon of virtue,

[SOLDIERS]
With sword and with pen!

[MILES]
I, in war the most admired,
In wit the most inspired,
In love the most desired,
In dress the best displayed–
I am a parade!

[SOLDIERS]
Look at those eyes, cunning and keen,
Look at the size of those thighs, like a mighty machine!

[PSEUDOLUS]
Those are the mightiest thighs that I ever have theen!
I mean…

[MILES]
My bride!
My bride!
Inform my lucky bride:
The fabled arms of
Miles are open wide.
Make haste!
Make haste!
I have no time to waste:
There are shrines
I should be sacking,
Ribs I should be cracking,
Eyes to gouge and booty to divide.
Bring me my bride!

5 Responses to Miles Gloriosus

  • cminor says:

    If I recall, key plot elements, several stock characters, and the name Miles Gloriosus were swiped lock, stock and barrel from Plautus!

    My dear husband once played Erronius in an amateur production of Forum, and it is one of our favorites!
    Should he ever do it again, he’ll need less white hairspray.

  • jreynolds says:

    As recall, when Miles descends from his horse he tells Phil Silvers he wants to arrange “a sit down orgy for 40.” And when shown a bottle of wine asks, “Was the year one a good year?” But my favorite was “I am my ideal!”

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    “If I recall, key plot elements, several stock characters, and the name Miles Gloriosus were swiped lock, stock and barrel from Plautus!”

    You are correct cminor! A professor of Roman history told me long ago at the University of Illinois that A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum was a brilliant evocation of Roman life. Rome via the Borscht Belt!

  • Gail F says:

    “Everybody ought to have a maid…” I’ve never like the film much because I saw it after I saw a production of the musical, and the musical is much funnier!

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